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Postdata – Self Titled

Self released, 1/26/10

Rating 4 out of 5 stars.

Postdata offers a gentle, soothing little slice of rootsy nostalgia on its first album. You could easily characterize the band’s sound as Americana, and in a way you’d be right (even though they’re actually Canadian), but there’s a bit more going on here than that.

There are some clear country influences, and a fair bit of blues, but it never quite slips into the usual boozy boisterousness that characterizes many bands with similar influences. Postdata have gone in an entirely different direction. There’s an oddly ambient feeling overlaying the album, despite the folksiness.

Vocals are soft, pretty, and natural. Lyrics are thoughtful, wistful, sad but still witty. Acoustic guitar work is competently done, but doesn’t seek to show off or dominate – the focus is always on the songwriting. It’s an intimate sort of album.

A sort of a side project for Wintersleep’s Paul Murphy and his brother Michael, Postdata was recorded in multiple stages at their parents’ house in Nova Scotia, with more work done later in Halifax. What they’ve produced is an album that sounds deeply personal, yet it will strike a chord with a lot of people. It’s not polished or sexy or particularly exciting, and that’s part of its strength. It’s music for the sake of making music — a rarity these days.

Murphy says Postdata was initially intended as a present for his mother — because she’d had a rough year — and you can hear it in every song. It’s hard to imagine anyone disliking this album. It’s a lovely little slice of gentle, wistful, folksy magic. Highly recommended.